kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Kate ([personal profile] kate_nepveu) wrote2017-02-11 10:05 pm
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The LEGO Batman Movie

This was enjoyed by all members of Chateau Steelypips; it was amusingly self-aware and meta in ways that don't detract from kidly enjoyment of the slapstick. (I mean, it opens with Batman in voice-over saying something like, "BLACK. All serious movies start with a black screen.")

I have not seen all of The LEGO Movie, but the bits I did, didn't impress me: oh look, it's the one cool girl, again, and also daddy issues, whee. This movie is still dude-heavy, with just one of the four central hero characters being female, but at least the Mayor is also a woman? And I love that Barbara Gordon is Commissioner here, with Jim Gordon retiring and very emphatically shuffled off-screen, also that she is firmly on the side of Batman working with the police, not as a vigilante.

Here are some extremely mild spoilers, because this is not the kind of movie where the plot is a surprise:

It's either weird or depressing or both that a kids' movie is the most sensible take on the superhero question I've seen: while it drops in focus over the course of the movie, Batman's decision that he needs to work as part of a team does, I think, necessarily imply that he works with the police in an integrated way, who under Commissioner Barbara Gordon are adopting a four-part strategy that included various community policing initiatives (and, because this is Lego, "ninjutsu"). (The scene where she introduces this and points out how bad Batman is at, you know, stopping supervillains, is terrific.)

Also, when I read The Lego Batman Movie Is the Brokeback Batman We’ve Always Wanted, I thought it was exaggerating: but then I saw the movie and nope, it really isn't. And I never expected to spend more than 30 seconds on the question of whether a Lego movie was queerbaiting, but there you go. I am exhausted and have things to do, so I will just toss out some bullet points on this issue:

* No, really, it's about them saying "I hate you" in exactly the same tone of voice as you would say "love."

* Batman has a crush-at-first-sight reaction to Barbara, but by the end of the movie he ostentatiously declares that she is his strictly-platonic co-worker.

* Barbara is Commissioner and not his mentee (though she may get stuck with the Batgirl moniker, it's not clear how that resolves, he suggests it and she says she'll call him Batboy, but I thought I heard someone call her that).

* Harley Quinn also exists, as the article says.

* It's nice that the credits song is about friends as family, and it's nice that romantic relationships are de-centered. However, insert here my standard complex feelings about women -- especially women of color, which Barbara is here (played by Rosario Dawson) -- being shunted aside to focus on white boys' feelings about each other.

* Finally, again, no actual on-screen queerness.

Oh, and there's a character who sounds almost exactly like Deb, the sentient patch of haze in Welcome to Night Vale, which was randomly distracting and hilarious.


* Power Rangers: is "gritty" really the appropriate aesthetic?

* The Boss Baby: please no.

* Cars 3 teaser: [personal profile] mariness had said that it reduced a theater of kids to tears, so when I realized what it had to be I warned the kids, and they were fine.

* Some live-action thing that looked earnest and kind of too adult and that entirely failed to make an impression on me, even after I looked through the forthcoming list at IMDB.
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[personal profile] kass 2017-02-12 12:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Z really wants to see this movie (and I actually do too -- I have an enduring fondness for the LEGO movie, which was surprisingly meta and pro-fanworks). We were going to go this afternoon, though today's snowstorm is likely to scotch those plans because the movie theatre is a bit of a drive from here. Soon, though, I hope. :-) And oh dear, there's going to be a Power Rangers movie? Not my favorite franchise but Z adores it -- methinks he will be filled with fanboy squee.
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[personal profile] poisontaster 2017-02-13 06:38 am (UTC)(link)
OMG, I thought that was just me, with the sounding like Deb!! She totally did! I had to check the credits to make sure it WASN'T Meg Bashwiner!

I was amused by how casually and how long it went on, where Batman was basically implying and letting Dick think that he and Bruce were in a relationship, though yes, the lack of ACTUAL queerness was disappointing.
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[personal profile] larryhammer 2017-02-14 05:11 pm (UTC)(link)
The Boss Baby was painful enough as a picture book. Movie? NOOOOOOOOOOO...
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[personal profile] larryhammer 2017-02-15 03:49 am (UTC)(link)
The plot was, parents attempt to placate the boss-baby trying to avoid a tantrum, and finally get him to sleep. Totally a book aimed at the adults reading it, not the child. Barf.

I think we encountered it as a board book.

What "plot" are they grafting?
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[personal profile] larryhammer 2017-02-15 02:58 pm (UTC)(link)
*face palm*
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[personal profile] castiron 2017-02-17 12:55 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for this review; I've been thinking about taking Middle to see it, and it sounds like I won't throw rocks at the screen.